The hourlong drama pilot, directed by Doctor Strange helmer Scott Derrickson, is set seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, and the remnants of humanity inhabit a gigantic, perpetually moving train that circles the globe. It explores class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival.
Oscar winner Connelly will play Melanie Cavill, a First Class passenger who works as the Voice of the Train – responsible for making the daily announcements over its PA system. Though many in her VIP position are dismissive of the lower class passengers, Melanie is curiously fascinated by them. Diggs plays Layton Well, a prisoner who becomes a reluctant participant in a struggle that could upend life on the train.
Snowpiercer, a co-production between Marty Adelstein/ITV Studios’ Tomorrow Studios, Turner’s Studio T and CJ Entertainment, is executive-produced by writer-showrunner Josh Friedman; director Derrickson; Tomorrow Studios’ Adelstein and Becky Clements; and the original film’s Bong Joon Ho, Park Chan-wook, Lee Tae-hun and Dooho Choi.
This is a very rare TV gig for Connelly. who had been focused on features since a hot early start as a young girl in Once Upon a Time In America, Phenomena and Labyrinth. In TV, she previously co-starred in Darren Star’s short-lived 2000 Fox drama series The $treet and toplined the 1992 TNT film The Heart and Justice, so this marks her return to the cable network.
Connelly won an Oscar, Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award for her performance as Alicia Nash in Ron Howard’s A Beautiful Mind. More recently, she starred opposite Ewan McGregor in American Pastoral, which marked McGregor’s directorial debut, and Shelter, written, directed and co-starring A Beautiful Mind‘s Paul Bettany. She will soon be seen in the firefighter drama Granite Mountain, with Josh Brolin, Miles Teller and Jeff Bridges, and the Robert Rodriguez-directed, James Cameron-produced sci-fi epic Alita: Battle Angel, with Michelle Rodriguez, Mahershala Ali and Christoph Waltz. Connelly is repped by CAA and RMS Prods.
Snowpiercer is one of three TNT projects being produced by Tomorrow Studios, the other two being series Good Behavior and the Highland pilot.